In a disturbing outpour of emotion, a distraught man has taken to the courtroom, pleading for help and sharing a rather unsettling account of life in his domestic environment. This scenario, as shocking as it is, sheds light on the very real issue of spousal abuse, challenging conventional stereotypes and urging us to consider the equally distressing reality: men can, and often are, victims of domestic violence too.
Before the Grade A Customary Court in Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, a man named Ahmed has stepped forward, petitioning for his marriage to Barakat to be annulled. His plea is based on accusations of his wife’s consistent inebriation and chronic nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting.
Furthermore, Ahmed alleges that Barakat is not just harsh, but often resorts to physically confining him in their shared space, assaulting him until he’s bruised and battered. According to him, these actions have subjected Ahmed to an incessant stream of mortification.
Ahmed stated that he derived no joy in their marriage and as such wanted Barakat out of his house.
Barakat denied all the allegations brought against her by her husband but acceded to divorce.
The defendant explained that the plaintiff was inhumane.
According to her, he stocked their kitchen with foodstuff but refused that she cooked out of it.
She stated that Ahmed gave her only N200 every morning for food not caring how she survived the remaining of the day.
Barakat further stated that Ahmed was in the habit of sending his wives packing, adding that she was his seventh wife.
Ahmed in his evidence said, “I have never met either of my wife’s parents and as such, I find no one to report her to any time she misbehaves.
“I did not pay her bride price. She moved in with me after we met and we started living together as husband and wife.
“My wife is ruthless and constantly humiliates me.
“Barakat will lock me up in our room any time we have a misunderstanding and beat me to a pulp.
“The scars on my face tell the story of her callous behaviour.
“Barakat is a drunk. She drinks herself to stupour almost every day.
“My wife urinates on the bed when she is drunk and fills our room with stench.
“The more I complained the worst she became.
“I sent her packing when I could no longer tolerate her misbehaviour, but she came back after a few months begging that I forgave her.
“I took her back into my home and gave her N50, 000 to start a business.
“She filled her shop with goods, but these disappeared under a month.
“She pleaded that I gave her money again a few months after this which I did.
“I gave her again another N50, 000, but this like the first vanished into the thin air.
“Barakat went mad when I demanded to know what she did with the money and like other times, locked me up in our room and descended on me with punches.
“I was advised to come to court after I reported her to the police.
“Barakat will kill me if she spends another minute under my roof.
“My lord, I plead that you end our relationship now.”
Barakat responding said, “I agree that my husband and I go our different ways, although all he said about me are lies.
“He is fond of maltreating me, even though he did not pay my bride price.
“My husband started misbehaving after he gave me N50, 000.
“He insisted I changed my trade and refused that I had rest of mind.
“I later abandoned him and relocated to Lagos.
“He kept pleading that I returned to him and I did after much consideration, but he did not stop giving me hell.
“My husband stocks our kitchen with foodstuff but refused that I cooked out of it.
“He gives me only N200 for breakfast and is never bothered how I survived the remaining of the day.
“We fight almost all the time because he is always monitoring my movements.
“He refused that I interact with those in the neighbhour and was fond of raining curses on me.
“My husband detests my children from my first marriage and has stopped them from coming to his house.
“I am his seventh wife. He is in the habit of sending his wives packing.
“I appeal to the court to mandate him to rent an accommodation for me after our marriage is dissolved.”
The court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo adjourned the case.